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Coming attractions

Webster Theater to reopen Friday night with 'The New Mutants'

— Daily Freeman-Journal photo by Anne Blankenship The marquee at the Webster Theater offered a little tease to the community ahead of its planned reopening on Friday, Oct.16. The theater, which has been shuttered since mid-March will reopen with a showing of "Marvels The New Mutants."

Movies will soon be lighting up the screen at the Webster Theater in downtown Webster City. The theater will officially reopen its doors Friday night for the first time since the facility was shuttered on March 17 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Marvels The New Mutants” will be shown for a week starting Oct. 16, according to Kay Ross, a member of the HERO Board which operates the theater.

She said it’s taken a while to reopen, partially because of the pandemic and also due to the fact that the movie studios just weren’t releasing films to theaters.

“They are starting to come out now, though,” she said. “That’s why we waited.”

Other movies scheduled this month at the Webster Theater include “The Broken Hearts Gallery,” opening Oct. 23, and “Tenet,” set to open Oct. 30.

The showtimes will remain the same, she said, but there have been some changes in the auditorium to allow for social distancing, Ross said.

“We’ve set up a grid in the theater. When people purchase their tickets, they’ll pick out their seats,” she said. “Once they sit, they can’t change seats.”

Concessions will be open with a wide variety of items available. The staff will be wearing gloves and masks as they serve customers. However, patrons will want to be sure to get their popcorn before the movie starts, because the concessions will close at 7:15 p.m.

“That will give the employees a chance to do all the sanitizing and cleaning they will need to do in the concession stands each night,” according to Ross. After the movie is over each night, they staff will also do a thorough sanitizing of the auditorium and restrooms.

Despite the screen being dark for almost seven months, the theater was open a few times this summer, serving up hot buttered popcorn to the public. They opened up on Friday nights when the community came together for Scoop the Loop events, and they also partnered with the City of Webster City on the outdoor movies in Availa Bank Plaza during the summer months. Both events were quite popular with the public, Ross said.

“We had some good participation on those,” she said.

Ross said she hopes the community will glad to see the movie theater open again.

“The community has been pretty clear that they would like to have the theater open again,” she said. “I hope everyone puts their trust in us that we are doing everything we can to keep them healthy so they are able to come out and enjoy the movies.”

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